I've spent a great deal of time speaking with various people about all that has been going on the last couple of weeks and while I can honestly say I've been enlightened about some things and have evolved on others,

I remain pretty solid in my basic beliefs that hatred based upon someone's skin color is wrong. Period.

And racism is not systemic in America. That's not to say it wasn't at one time.

It is also silly for one to feel guilty about the color of one's own skin. When someone feels guilty about being white, it automatically denotes that they somehow feel superior to someone who is not. If you believe that you have privileges that someone else does not have, you insinuate that somehow your life is better and that your life is worth more. That's baloney. Besides, it's not about you so shut up and get over yourself. Nobody wants or needs your pity.

I've also had a chance to reflect on the other reasons people seem to hate each other. An 82-year-old Air Force veteran was body-slammed and kicked by a 27-year-old man recently in Fall River for the crime of expressing his support for the President of the United States.

People are hated for being a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim. Or because they are gay or straight. Some folks hate Mexicans while others hate Chinese and still others hate Americans. Rich folks hate poor folks while the poor envy and despite the rich.

Intolerance and hatred, it seems, are everywhere these days. I'm not sure if it will get better before it gets worse. I hope it does. We are all fortunate to be Americans. Let's act like it.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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